As a larger percent of the population ages, more and more individuals are living in some sort of assisted living environment, whether that be a nursing home or an adult care facility. While these differ greatly in the level of care provided, residents of this vulnerable population are susceptible to injury and abuse. This can range from something as minor as receiving the wrong dosage of a medication, to something much more serious such as a preventable fall resulting in severe injury or death.
Because of the fast increase in the elderly population, facilities are frequently understaffed, causing many residents to receive less care than required. Neglect and non-treatment of residents can lead to severe injury, and in some cases, death. The elderly population is protected by a variety of state and federal laws, but violations go unreported and uncorrected. The state and federal regulatory agencies rely main on the facilities themselves to report any resident neglect or abuse. Residents themselves are elderly and often have trouble communicating their concerns or are forgetful about things that may have happened.
The National Center on Elder Abuse provides a variety of resources, including where to report abuse, and local agencies that can assist older individuals. This is a great resource for the elderly and their families. In addition, Medicare allows you to explore all facilities in a location and compare them based on their ratings and size. This can help you find the best facility available in your price range. As the elderly population grows, it will become more and more difficult to find a suitable living situation, but with a little research and investigation, you can prevent your loved one from becoming another statistic.